State Senator Patty Ritchie toured Goose Bay in Jefferson County today and announced she has secured a $25,000 grant to help the shoreline community address its Eurasian Milfoyle problem.
Senator Ritchie has been working with the Goose Bay Reclamation Corporation, a not-for-profit group composed of local residents, the Nature Conservancy, Jefferson County Legislator Phil Reed, Town of Alexandria Supervisor Dale Hunneyman and the Jefferson County Soil and Water Conservation District to help residents.
“Goose Bay is one of the St. Lawrence River’s great scenic and natural resources,” said Senator Ritchie. “When residents came to me asking for my help, I felt it was imperative that we work together to begin addressing this problem that threatens a major St. Lawrence River ecosystem that includes the mouth of Cranberry Creek, one of the St. Lawrence River’s historic spawning areas.”
"On behalf of the residents of Goose Bay, we want to thank Senator Ritchie for going to bat for us to help us address this problem," said Goose Bay Reclamation Corporation President Robert Lamoureux. "The residents of Goose Bay have been educating state officials about the problem, but Sen. Ritchie is the first to help us begin the effort to take back our bay. We would like to preserve the bay for future generations."
Last year, Senator Ritchie asked the Nature Conservancy’s St. Lawrence Eastern Lake Ontario Partnership For Regional Invasive Species Management (SLELO PRISM) Coordinator to visit Goose Bay to take samples to verify the extent of the Eurasian Milfoyle problem plaguing the area.
The Nature Conservancy’s extensive report confirmed the existence of the problem and documented that Eurasian Milfoyle is choking parts of the bay.
Eurasian Milfoyle, a non-native nuisance weed, forms dense mats of vegetation that shades out native species. The heavy weed growth disrupts Goose Bay’s water flow, hurts water quality, and reduces boating and fishing opportunities.
(ATTENTION PHOTO EDITORS - State Senator Patty Ritchie is shown with Goose Bay Reclamation Corporation President Robert Lamoureux on a boat tour and visual inspection of the Eurasian Milfoyle infestation on the 1,000 acre bay, three miles downstream from Alexandria Bay.)